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Introducing Polaris, a New In-IDE Code Search Tool for Plugin Developers

UPD: Please note that the Polaris plugin was developed as an experimental project. It was discontinued in August 2023 and subsequently withdrawn from JetBrains Marketplace. Thank you to everyone who took part in the preview and shared their feedback.

There are many resources available to developers extending the IntelliJ Platform, including the IntelliJ Platform SDK documentation, a dedicated Slack community where you can ask fellow developers for advice, and external forums and Q&A platforms. 

To discover how others have implemented features using specific extension points, you can browse IntelliJ Platform Explorer and then navigate to the source code on GitHub. It is, however, rather time-consuming to search through all of these resources and check source code locally. What if the examples of API usages were available right at hand in your IDE?

Introducing the Polaris plugin – a semantic code search engine

JetBrains introduces a public preview of the Polaris plugin for plugin developers – a code search tool embedded into IntelliJ IDEA.

Polaris can help you write plugins more effectively by suggesting code snippets that match the codebases of the IntelliJ Platform and some open-source plugins for IntelliJ-based IDEs. In addition, it helps developers be more productive by offering code completion with relevant parameters that other coders have used in similar situations.

As a result, you no longer need to manually search through source code implementations or remember minute details about your code. Simply search directly within your IDE, use the code snippets or function parameters that Polaris suggests, and follow the best coding practices.

Check out the Polaris web page to learn more about its features.

What’s next?

The plugin functionality is currently limited to working with the IntelliJ Platform codebase. After we collect the initial feedback, we will enhance its functionality for broader usage. For example, we are looking into ways to deliver the same code search experience on-premises for enterprise companies with huge codebases.

In the meantime, we invite plugin developers and anyone interested to try Polaris and share their feedback. You can also get an idea of how Polaris works in your browser by viewing the code snippets generated for specific functions:

Try Polaris Live

More details on how to get started with Polaris are available in the documentation. You can report issues and leave feature requests in the Polaris issue tracker.

We can’t wait to see the innovative plugins you create with Polaris!

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